IT’S TIME TO TAKE STOCK

The end of the year is always a good moment to take a stock, to think and reflect on the past 12 months, in order to set future goals.

2021 was not an easy year for anyone: the COVID-19 crisis continued played a major role in everybody’s lives and strongly affected the education activities, at all levels.

While at the very beginning of the pandemic, classes and laboratories in schools had been stopped and internship including forbidden, during the last year, besides the difficulties and added challenges, the adaptation to the so called ‘new reality’ become a proven reality.

The mobility projects in the frame of the Erasmus+ programme has been among the last learning activities to be re-activates. In was only in spring 2021, after 1 year from the first lockdown, when they re started at a faster rhythm.

Internship abroad are crucial for the SkillsAct4Vet project, as they are the context for the project results’ implementation, testing and dissemination

The entire partnership was looking forward to see again the students on the field, with their accompanying teachers, learning agreements to be defined, and final europass to be obtained

The resilience and the strong willing to put in place mobility activities among students, teachers and director sin all Europe, proved how important the Erasmus+ program is for the VET education.

As a focus on the SkillsAct4Vet participation, we could observe a considerable number of students taking part in the testing of the outputs specifically designed for the mobility itself.

In Malaga, during the internships coordinated by Tribeka, the SkillsAct4VET Tasksmap (https://tasksmap.skillsact4vet.eu) and the SkillsActAPP (https://test.skillsact4vet.eu ) have been used by more than 500 participants.

Last year more that ever we saw how the experience to be abroad is life changing for young students, and how the opportunity to be hosted in foreign companies for few weeks experience can open their mind, and prepare them for the labor world.

We are aware that new challenges await us, and we are excited and ready for everything 2022 will bring to us. We wish that Covid won’t play such a central role, and that all the students that are planning today their mobilities, will realize them.

SkillsAct4Vet Transnational project Meeting

After more than a year and a half, where due to the Covid pandemic we have not been able to hold any face-to-face meeting, we finally began to move!

During the 28th and 29th of September, the partners of the ‘Transversal skills activation for Vet Mobility experience’ project have finally held a blended meeting in the Bulgarian city of Gorna Oryahovitsa.

Most of the members have been able to attend the meeting in the host city of the M. V. Lomonosov Secondary School of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, which has been responsible for hosting the event.

Members who have not been able to travel to Bulgaria have participated virtually in the meeting, so that all members have contributed to the meeting.

Among the topics on the meeting agenda, we worked on:-Progress of the project outpus,- Agreement on further testing activities,- Evaluation, quality insurance and dissemination- Communication and cooperation among the partners.Besides all the mentioned, an important goal of the meeting has been checking on feedbacks of the learning mobility implemented in Summer 2021 with the students from the M. V. Lomonosov Secondary School.The project managers, researchers and technician met the students and teachers who took part to the learning activities hosted by the project coordinator in Malaga in summer 2021.The feedback collected at the end of the mobilities, after testing the outputs, has proved how students and teachers increased their understanding of soft skills, in the frame of short terms work experience abroad.They increased they sensitiveness in recognizing them, the behavioral elements the soft skills can assume, and are more aware of their application in their future job position.

About the travel to Gorna Oryahovitsa, a special mention is deserved by the amazing welcoming that the guest partners received from the host organization.

The staff and students of the host school took care of the organization with great attention to details and peculiar elements, accuracy, precision and proudness to offer the best.

Transversal Skills Activation for Vet Mobility Experiences : creating the project products

After one year from the kick off meeting of the project, that took place exactly 1 year ago in Malaga, our work on Skills Act for Vet project  is going on in a word that appears completely different! Despite the difficulties due to COVID 19 , that are affecting mobility projects and the Educative system in Europe, the main goals behind ‘SkillsAct4Vet’ project appears more pertinent that ever.

The project team is busy building the project products, that will be used to optimize soft skills activation in young interns during shor terms mobility abroad.

We’ll provide a brief overview of the tools that the project team is creating and we’ll ask our teachers for help in testing a student questionnaire which is part of one of the products.

The project group completed the extensive exploratory research in March 2020 (details at the following link http://adiscuola.it/the-results-of-the-survey-transversal-skills-activation-for-vet-mobility-experiences/ ).  Based on the investigation results, five competences emerged as the most important ones  for employability : 

1) CONTEXT READING and ADAPTABILITY : It is the ability to act properly in both new and known contexts, adapting to their specific characteristics and recognizing the values, beliefs, resources and limits of the environment and people. It is also the ability to recognize one’s own and others’ role expectations. In multicultural contexts, this capacity implies the linguistic-communicative adaptation to specific environment;

2) SELF CONFIDENCE : recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses;

3) FOLLOWERSHIP: Supporting one’s own referent/superior and co-workers at the workplace and showing collaboration, trust in the group’s members and cohesion capabilities;

4) CULTURAL AWARENESS : Respecting and being aware of cultural differences and working effectively with people from a range of different social and cultural backgrounds;

5) PROACTIVITY: Acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting to it.

The project team described each skill using a set of behavioral indicators to complete the identification tool, then the project group chose the three most relevant behavioral indicators for each competence.
This set of 5  competencies and  15 behavioral indicators formed the basis for developing the following products:

  • The Skills Act 4 VET Modular Training Programme for Teachers: the project team is currently creating module one ( the module “before the mobility”). In module one teachers will find information, bibliography and activities about each of the five competences. Teachers  will use the materials to activate  and discuss the competences before the mobility.
  • Self assessment and evaluation tools:
  • map of tasks at work: the project groups is using the set of behavioral indicators describing each of the selected competences to create a questionnaire linked to the job duties. Both students and internship tutors will answer the same questionnaires, students will be able to compare their self assessment with their tutor evaluation. The map of tasks at work will therefore serve as a self-assessment tool during the mobility. Students will use it , in itinere , as a track on how to optimize the mobility experience itself.
  • App: Students will answer another questionnaire using the app, this questionnaire will be drawn up by a team of psychologists. This questionnaire will have scientific value and will complement the task map at work. Students will use this tool to measure their degree of activation of skills achieved during the mobility experience and their level of awareness. The results of the questionnaires will represent a basis for discussions and reflections.
  • the app questionnaire needs to be tested to evaluate its degree of comprehensibility and adequacy. For this purpose we need your help, please test the questionnaire with your students. Below you can find links to the tests. The questions are the same, however one questionnaire is in English while the other one is in Italian. The questionnaires are online, they are aimed at students who have completed an internship abroad and they are very short.

Thank you so much for your help!!

link to Italian test: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScwtgNY97osT0_m3m5ICrngzn495wCE6TbTl-BIZYZV1pQqFw/viewform?usp=sf_link

link to English test: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeddyj6F66gC0jHcD2M7Ju3hzKAEdLwym_FAm3-i8jk2Zs8Wg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Research Activity in situ

The kick-off meeting also gave everyone the chance to personally meet colleagues from all over Europe and to strengthen the inspiration for this ambitious project.

A group of Italian students and teachers, carrying out their short term mobility in Málaga in that period, was invited to the kick-off meeting in order to share their feelings about the experience and offer a fresh vision on the new ‘Erasmus generation’, giving faces and voices to the hundreds of students that we are going to interview for the massive research that will result in the first output of the project.

And maybe the meeting with the students is what we will most remember after the departure. As teachers, as trainers, as analysts, it is important not to lose sight of what lies behind numbers. This is a powerful motivation that we all share and that will strongly contribute to the final aim of the project, that is to have a direct impact on students awareness, amplifying the effect of the “strongest experience of my life”, which is often the case for 17-year-old European students participating in their first Erasmus experience.

In conclusion, the experience of the kick-off meeting in Malaga has combined different experiences merging in an interesting common path that will result in the creation of a deep sense of professional identity for those who will use the tools produced from the project.

Kick-off Meeting!

Transversal skills activation for Vet Mobility experience or, SkillsAct4Vet is an ambitious Erasmus+ Project, financed under the Key Action 202.

The expected impact is focused on VET students and teachers taking part in short terms mobility projects, the field of expertise of the project coordinator, Tribeka training lab.

The kick-off meeting was hosted in the beautiful setting of Malaga, where Tribeka hosts every year around 1 thousand students and hundreds of teachers, cooperating with local companies where many young intern experiences what often is their very first work experience.

The intense days spent together have given all the partners the chance to know each other in person, to enter in details into the working programme and to clarify main responsibilities and deadlines.

The meeting enabled the partnership to outline a macro-perspective to the project: it will deal with the improvement of students’ soft skills during short-term mobility with the aim of analysing the skills that students can reinforce and develop. Another objective of the project, widely discussed during the kick-off meeting, will be to adapt existing tools or develop new tools that can increase students’ awareness of the mastery of these soft skills, in order to define methodologies that can be used throughout Europe in different schools, training centres and companies.

After the meeting, a punctual and periodic exchange of e-mails and documents followed, together with the launch of the dissemination plan, the official logo and web page creation. Each partner will contribute to the project according to its internal skills and enhancing the synergy created in Malaga thanks to the joint project work, in order to transform the aforementioned objectives into tangible results summarised in a framework that identifies and describes soft skills, an app for the evaluation of these soft skills in a self-awareness process for the students and finally a training course for teachers composed by different modules.